Disaster Preparedness – Lessons Learned

Is your company prepared for a disaster, unrelated to an aviation accident? Deliberate, thoughtful preparation can save lives and even save your business from being one of the 40% that don’t reopen after a disaster. Take time now to develop a disaster preparedness plan and continue to learn from others’ experiences.

Lessons Learned

With each major disaster our country faces, we as a society get a little smarter and a little more cautious. Here are a number of lessons we can learn from previous disasters:

1. The first information by the news media is ALWAYS wrong. The initial reports from the Boston Marathon indicated there were four bombs. Cell phones were supposedly blocked by the police on purpose. These details ended up not being true.

2. Normal communication methods might not work. Cell phone towers are often overwhelmed during disasters. Text messages often get through and the American Red Cross or other groups often set up various methods to check in with family, friends, and employees.

3. There will be flight restrictions. Whether the flight restrictions are to mitigate the possibility of an aerial terrorist attack, limit the media coverage of the event, or just ensure aircraft involved in recovery efforts have the room to move, expect flight restrictions and be prepared to communicate those to your staff and customers.

4. The proliferation of 24/7 news programs is bad for us – emotionally and even physically. Studies following 9/11 showed repeated exposures to the video and photos of that terrible day might have slowed the recovery of people affected and provoked stress responses in individuals who weren’t immediately affected. Stay informed but don’t be glued to the TV, radio, or Internet news sites.

5. There will always be “helpers.” “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping’” said Fred Rogers of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood fame. Look for the helpers. BE a helper if you’re a position to be one.

6. Know there’s a difference between “vigilance” and “hysteria.” Whether we’re talking about natural disasters, security events, or even a health epidemic, it’s possible to be prepared without your daily life being negatively impacted. Don’t believe a disaster will happen to someone else. Be prepared but don’t be hysterical.

This excerpt was taken from an ABJ Q3 article written by Lindsey C. McFarren called “Disaster Preparedness.” To read the full article, click here.

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